Circle Mirror Transformation actors stay in character through it all


Ashanti Thomas

Marty, played by Jessica Nantes, a TV video and production maor, directs Theresa, played by Brea Howard, a theatre major, to act as Marty’s mother to create a picture of her childhood family dynamic in the “Circle Mirror Transformation” play.

Drew Coffey, Campus Reporter

The Eastern theatre department had their opening night Thursday with their production of Circle Mirror Transformation in the Doudna Fine Arts Center. 

The play tells the story of an acting class full of strangers and shows the conflicts and emotional realizations that come with the connections that they build.  

Aidan Collins, a senior theatre arts major and performer in Circle Mirror Transformation, said that the connections between the actors led to a successful opening night.

“What really helped us out was listening to one another,” Collins said. “And just that listening causes us to have our reactions naturally rather than them being forced.”

Collins also said that he was surprised with the response from the audience.

“I was not expecting people to laugh because we’ve been in this rehearsal process literally six weeks doing the same thing,” Collins said. “Opening night is very interesting because we get these people’s responses, and we see how they reacted because we’ve done it so long.”

According to Collins, he focused on certain aspects of his character rather than the reactions of the audience.

“I made each decision in what I wanted,” Collins said. “I followed my objective, and I did it naturally.”

Collins stayed true to his character when his performance led to a broken water bottle prop mid performance but carried on unphased.

Nathaniel Revish, a senior theatre major and stage manager of the production, said that the play turned out well behind the scenes.

“The actors were able to pull it through very well with everything they’ve been able to rehearse the last few weeks,” Revish said. “Every transition went really smoothly and calmly, and I really think it was a great experience.”

Revish said some anxieties he had during the production was cueing but had trust and confidence in the actors to pull it off.

Revish said that Circle Mirror Transformation is a play that can resonate with many different audiences.

“I feel like it’s definitely something that can branch out to different cultures, ages and genders of all kinds,” Revish said. “So I really do feel like this show branches out to all sorts of regions of life.”

Anne Thibault, an associate professor of theatre and director of Eastern’s Circle Mirror Transformation production, said she could not be prouder of the cast and crew.  

“I thought the actors handled it beautifully, and they are such a strong ensemble,” Thibault said. “They all work really well together, and they are great listeners.”  

Thibault also said she was pleased with the response from the audience.  

“The audience seemed really invested in who these characters are, and how they transform in their little time together in this acting class so that was great,” Thibault said.

The most important part of the play is the relationships that are built within it by author Annie Baker, according to Thibault.  

“I think that’s what Annie Baker does so beautifully,” Thibault said. “The playwright is just really interested in real truthful interactions between human beings and the kind of loneliness that lives inside all of us.”  


Drew Coffey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].